tv Lockup San Quentin MSNBC January 26, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PST
>> america's prisons, dangerous, often deadly. there are 2 million people doing time. every day is a battle to survive. and to maintain order. >> down! on your feet! down! >> among the nation's most notorious institutions, san quentin state prison. our cameras spent months documenting life on the inside where gangs, drugs and sheer boredom make up a violent mix. this is "lockup: san quentin, extended stay." san quentin state prison served as the reception center for 17
counties in the state of california. each week, the prison releases 150 prisoners. and welcomes 350 new inmates. san quentin was built to hold about 3,000 people. it currently houses more than 5,000. >> unfortunate for some of them, they think this is a step up. in the circles they travel in, unfortunately, it is. you know, i made it. i'm in state prison now. >> with repeat offenders clogging up the works, the officers struggle to keep the inmates under control. >> control, be advised we have an alarm in south block. >> i can only speculate and the only thing i can think of is we have a missing inmate. that's probably the number one thing. >> step on the tiers and conduct
a count, submit it to patrol immediately. >> hernandez. i don't know where he is. >> his name is skanvinsky hymes. my prison number is e-04448. i've had this prison number since i was 18 years old. i just turned 37 on february 15th. i'll be discharged from the prison system in a matter of about four days. >> you know what, for the record, show that these people are harassing me for some reason now. [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> each inmate is assigned a security risk classification score, based on his record and conduct in prison. the average inmate's score ranges from 19 to 27 points. >> i finally have the highest classification score in this prison system. i'm over 2,000 points now. i've caught over 30, almost 40 felonies in prison. various staff assaults.
>> hymes is back, right now, on a parole violation. he's been violated on parole numerous times. with him, i think it's entertainment. it's a game. he is a master at pushing people's buttons. he knows what reactions he wants to get and he's very, very good at doing it. >> with scanvinski hymes reaching the end of his sentence in just a few days, he will have to find ways to entertain himself in the outside world.
>> for most inmates, release from prison is just a temporary freedom. two years after getting out, more than 50% of california's prisoners find themselves right back behind bars. every day officer whitehall greets new prisoners whose crimes range from simple parole violations to major felonies. >> what's your name? >> mcdaniels. >> all right. you been here before? >> no. >> go over stand by the fence. >> what's your name? >> jacob. >> how much time you got to do? >> six. >> six years? >> yeah. >> go over, stand by the fence. you can bring the rest of the guys off, too. we can stack them on the fence. >> do you have any -- take any psych meds? >> no. >> do you have enemy situations with gang members? >> no. >> how much time you doing? >> 90 days.
>> 90-day op? >> yeah. >> you know if you screw up in prison, that 90 days you come right back, it's over. you've got to be on your best behavior, understand me? >> yeah. >> it's different when you step in the door right now, all right? >> okay. >> step through the door. >> 90-day observations are used to better gauge what type of punishment a convict deserves. depending on his behavior, an inmate's sentence can be suspended completely. >> we're doing intake from alameda county right now. first process, we check their aps, check it, make sure it's correct, make sure we got the right inmate, all the numbers match up. then we do a body search and give the county all of their clothing back. before they leave, they get that. i know what it is. i want to see it, okay? step over there. take all of your clothes off, put it in the middle can. shoes, too. we have them open the mouth, shake the hair out, lift their testicles, turn around, bend over at the waist, spread their
butt cheeks, make sure nothing's in the body cavity. >> turn around. step through. keep walking. >> for many arrivals, the experience of checking into prison is far from new. it's an all too familiar part of their lives. >> i've been here a few times, quite a few times, but most of the times convictions, no, but most of the times been here for unnecessary violations. some violations have been justifiable, but believe me, not enough to substantiate me coming here as many times as i've come here. >> put your stuff right there. right hand out. >> i can never actually say what my last time is going to be. but i don't plan on coming back to san quentin. you know what i mean? but as long as i'm on parole, that possibility is always there. i mean, i don't have to be committing crimes, doing drugs, anything of that nature to come back here. i mean, you can end up back here a whole lot of different ways. >> you back already? >> i got all of that.
>> dee dee has spent her life in and out of prison. but this is t.j. mcdaniel's first time inside and possibly his last chance to escape a similar fate. >> the judge told me he wanted me to get a feel how prison is. he said my life is like this. if he send me to prison, he said for a sentence and he feel my life is going to be over with. he said if he give me a chance to demonstrate that i'm going to be all right and i can succeed and be successful in the community, then i'm going to be able to get out. now that i'm here, i have got to follow all instructions, do my program and stay out of trouble. >> four fingers. so you nervous coming today? >> well, not really. >> why? it's prison. why wouldn't you be nervous? killers in here, thugs. >> it's everywhere. that's my life. >> what you out there doing?
you out there hustling dope? >> no. >> stealing? carrying weapons? >> carrying weapons. >> you were carrying a gun, i guess? >> yeah. >> why? >> i didn't want to be victimized. >> you want to shoot somebody first before he shoot you? >> no, i just want to protect me. >> if you shoot somebody, you kill them or miss or hit a little kid, then what do you do? then where are you? you're in trouble. >> yeah. i'm in trouble. >> you're in big trouble. >> big, big trouble. >> all right. you're busted next time you do anything. remember that. that's my part. fighting crime from san quentin. coming up on "lockup," t.j. faces the reality of a 5x11 cell. >> you can't even stretch in this joint. >> and dee dee faces a 3x3 cage. >> i got in a fight with somebody over nothing.
are you going to mail home all the stuff you can't have? >> yeah, the stuff i can't have. >> it's way too big. >> no, it's not. it's unreal. >> none of it's real. >> huh? >> i don't know if it's real or not. >> look at it. >> will i get that from medical? >> you have a number on this? >> it's from san quentin. do i get that from medical? >> yeah, i'm going to give it to the nurse. she'll give it to you. >> okay. thank you. >> dee dee and teaquila are both pre-op transsexuals. >> i'm a man becoming a female. >> what? >> you didn't know. i'm about halfway through. i just haven't been clipped yet, and i refuse to as long as i'm
on parole. >> while we're on parole, we become females while we're on parole, we have to be incarcerated in a female prison which is not something we're looking forward to. so we remain biologically male as long as we are on parole. >> we're a hot commodity in prison. >> pretty much. so, therefore, we are housed in the male gender. >> yeah. >> this is the only person i would let that's transgender into my cell. i would not allow any other transgender or homosexual into my cell. >> why not? >> because there are too many complications. too many cat fights. things like that. too many disagreements. it's hard. it's hard for us to get along with other homosexuals but we can get along with each other. we can deal with each other. >> although they came in together, dee dee will have to be segregated from teaquila and the rest of general population. prior misconduct within the
walls of san quentin has come back to haunt dee dee. >> i mean, i got into a fight with somebody over nothing. it turned out to be nothing. we apologized -- well, she apologized to me and it was over with. >> even though dee dee completed her lockup sentence for fighting, the computer still classifies her as a violent inmate. >> they are sending me to the hole now. >> why? >> because they have a computer mess-up. the computer is messed up and there's a glitch showing that i released from hole but i didn't release from hole. i left from my active unit. >> it's a classification change. so because he's a max inmate they never took him out of the computer. i had to lock him up. >> this is probably why i'm in a cage, because i have an attitude about it because i would have been a lot better if they went and tried to find out what exactly the problem was, and -- because i have no reason -- >> i'm upset about it, you know, i thought we were going to go together. but i guess i've got to wait a couple of days before i can see her again. too bad. >> way too bad.
>> bye. see you guys later. >> listen up, let's go. get your biscuits. two blankets, bag, go to the left side of the yard. line up on the left side of the yard. let's go. >> t.j. mcdaniels is in san quentin for a 90-day observation period. his behavior will determine whether he will stay in prison or perhaps receive a suspended sentence. >> i'm going to start your exercise program right here with this hill. let's go. >> all right. real quick, i'm here five days a week. three simple things. i don't want no phones. don't ask me a date i don't know. and don't miss your lockup. real simple. all we do is shower and eat. it's a wrap after that. you got any problems, let me know, we can fix it.
if i call your name, give me your last two, take it inside. mcdaniels, 66. take it in. 2 west 40. chavez, 2 west 71. >> [ bleep ]. >> [ bleep ] they gave me 90 days. what's that [ bleep ]? 90 days? what's that [ bleep ]? [ bleep ]. >> i'm here 35. i'm reputable in them streets, you know? what's that? >> [ bleep ]. >> you ever been in here? >> not here, not in prison. >> this ain't nowhere to be, man. this ain't cool. you can't even stretch. you can't even stretch in this joint. >> you can't even work out in these cells. you can't run in place. we only come out twice a week. >> yeah, man, [ bleep ]. mentally insane, for real. this is what they give us. look at this [ bleep ]. that's all you going to get. that's all you [ bleep ] going to get. a little tiny ass bar of soap. going to be used in one day. it's over.
this is how i'm living, man. >> you will find with a lot of these guys, they have been incarcerated before. so, unfortunate for some of them, they think this is a step up. and in the circles they travel in, unfortunately, it is. you know, i made it. i'm in the state prison now. it's a subculture here that's pretty unbelievable.
it's hard for a lot of people to understand where they are coming from, but if this is all you know, you know, there's a level of progression in here, too, i guess. like in the streets, you get a promotion doing good and here you get a promotion doing bad. so it's sad. but it's reality. coming up on "lockup," prison time is ending for scanvinski hymes. >> i'm a free black man in america. let me live. >> and t.j.'s is just beginning. >> you have what i consider a violent felony background. i doubt very sincerely anybody would put you on probation with your record.
>> what did you do now? >> i didn't do nothing. >> oh, that's what they all say. >> oh, come on now. >> you know me. >> he's going to ad seg. >> the hole ain't cute. one-man cell. you're handcuffed everywhere you go. i couldn't do it, which is why i try to stay out of trouble. >> what did he get locked up for now? what did he get locked up for? he just came in here friday. before he went out to court, he got locked up in ad seg for fighting. so now he's come back to ad seg while they get the follow-up in committee which will be wednesday. they probably won't have this file because he just came back.
probably has to go back to the committee in a couple of weeks to be released if he's going to be released. >> with dee dee's records in sacramento and her meeting with the housing committee a week away, she must remain in her single cell 23 hours a day. >> bad enough i'm here for something unnecessary but i'm locked up in here, in this little lockup facility, for nothing. my trial may not be here. it may not show that i'm paroled out of a unit. so, therefore, i will have to sit here a whole nother week until next wednesday to go back to classification when my file is here that will show that i broke from the unit. i'm beginning to come a little stressed out. >> back in general population, tj meets with his older cousin, gary, who is also serving time at san quentin. >> how do you feel, man? about this experience, man?
>> i feel terrible. [ bleep ] i mean, i made a mistake. i got to correct it now. i ain't going to cry, none of that. >> when i seen him roll up on the bus, i was very shocked. i can't say i'm mad or upset, it's a decision he made for himself. you know, he makes his own decisions. it's kind of sad to say, but in the streets, we hit the streets early. you're still young. so it's not a way of life to you yet. it's a projected persona that you're portraying right now. you see it. it's a fad. it's what everybody around you is doing. that's what you're accustomed to doing. going to your counselor today, you know what that means, right? >> yeah. i'm getting counseling. >> based on what the counselor says, the recommendation that the counselor -- it got a lot to do with it. you have to prepare yourself. >> yeah. >> so last night i hope you had your mind focused on -- >> my mind is made up. >> it's more than just saying. i've been repeating the same speeches for years and years but, cousin, i'm right back in the same cycle, man, you know, it's hard.
you really got to put your head into it, dog, and really change and deny yourself a lot of things you want to do. are you really ready for that? >> yeah, i'm ready. >> what the court's done is they have convicted you, and now they sent you here because probation doesn't feel that you are an appropriate candidate to go out on the probation but the judge says there might be something still left and possibly a little bit of hope in saving you from coming in and being a career criminal, right? >> yes. >> basically in this offense you had a handgun in your waistband, police tried to contact you and you ran and it fell out. >> yes. >> were you attempting to sell drugs at the time that they contacted you? >> no. >> what kind of gun? >> i don't know what kind of gun it was.
>> you had a gun in your waistband and you don't know what kind of gun it was? >> no. >> you don't have a clue what kind of gun? revolver? automatic? >> automatic, it was automatic. >> was it .9 millimeter? >> i don't know. >> where did you get the gun? how is that? >> where did i get it? >> where did you get it? >> in the backyard. >> let me ask you a question. do you feel you're a risk to the community? >> a risk? >> yeah. a risk to the community. do you know what that means? a risk to the community? >> a threat? >> threat, risk, same thing. >> yes. >> do you think you're a threat out there? >> no. >> okay. you've got a criminal background that goes back to when you were 10 years old. is that correct? >> yes. >> 1995? >> yes. >> you have had everything from evading police, resisting arrest, firearm violations, burglary, receiving stolen property, vehicle theft, robbery, hit and run, battery on a peace officer, and drug-related offensives. basically, most of your life you have been incarcerated. >> yes. >> you have what i consider a violent felony background.
that's what i consider, okay? >> okay. >> my recommendation would probably be to the worse, and that would be coming to prison. looks like they suggested already to you that you have got 16 months that they are going to make a recommendation for, which i think is really mild. however, i'm pretty sure you probably either get a suspended sentence or come to prison. i doubt very sincerely that anybody would put you on probation with your record. >> okay. >> that's just my recommendation. that's, like i said, the judge makes the decision. i don't. i make a recommendation based on what i saw. and my experience. okay? >> yeah. >> then that concludes our interview. you can go ahead and head back to your unit. >> all right. coming up on "lockup" -- >> i don't know what's going on. i can only speculate. the only thing i can think of is we have a missing inmate. >> all staff on the tiers, conduct a count, submit it to
♪ she wasn't all that but i felt [ bleep ] ♪ ♪ monkey on my back and his name is parole ♪ ♪ paranoid everywhere i'm seeing five-0. ♪ out a couple of months and i'm already doing wrong ♪ ♪ i can't get this monkey off my back no time ♪ ♪ the thrill of a dime ♪ police want to sell me ♪ always trying to take mine ♪ i never knew being up the road was a crime ♪ >> [ bleep ]. >> get off. get off. do what you got to do, punk. get off, punk. get off me now. get your [ bleep ] hands off me. get your [ bleep ] hands off me. >> i just think it's a heck of a waste for somebody that bright
to be living your life being entertained in a prison. >> scanvinski hymes is no stranger to lockup. our producers first met him seven years ago inside pelican bay, california's toughest maximum security prison. >> i don't care if you the peace officer, if you are the governor, if you are the president, if you do something to me, it's on. >> he's bucking right now, he's struggling. >> hymes is a career inmate with 19 of his 37 years spent behind bars. >> turn around. turn around. >> nope. you all use that force on me. >> officers in several california prisons have gotten plenty of opportunities to document his bad behavior on videotape. while most inmates try to deal with prison life the best they can, hymes has fought the system all the way. >> ha, ha, ha. going to be like starting a
whole new life. i can go anywhere. i can get a passport. i can do anything, you know, if i want to. i'm not under supervision of law enforcement at all times like i have been. so basically i can do anything i want to. >> although hymes has reached the end of his sentence, the stakes are higher than ever. >> hymes has two strikes against him right now, and i think he is aware that if he commits another crime and is prosecuted for that, it could very well be a third strike. which he would be looking at 25 to life. >> i'm too old now, you know. i mean, i figure if i came back to prison again, i would never get out. no matter if it was for a two-year sentence or something. no telling what happened. i just can't subject myself to that. >> christmases, thanksgivings, birthdays. he got to spend one birthday out of jail in over 15 years, he's able to spend one birthday, and that was in 2003. >> first my plan is to go eat a good meal, you know, and my sisters come to get me and just be around my family. >> i think my brother learned a lesson.
i believe this time he's going to get out, he's going to try to do more than what he was doing with himself before he went to the penitentiary. >> hymes is either going to decide, i'm going to get right, i'm not going to commit more crimes, or he's going to give in to his impulsiveness and he's going to commit another crime and he could very well be doing 25 to life. so i think with hymes, it's either going to be all of one or all of the other this time. >> man, hey, now i'm so glad. is that $200 in that bag, in that gizmo? >> don't worry about it. don't worry about it. >> this is my brother. he loves me. >> all the police -- look it, i do not belong to the california department of corrections no more. i am discharged. i no longer have a prison number. i am discharged. i'm a free black man in america, let me live. that's all i want to do, live, enjoy my family. >> hymes has a new life ahead of him on the outside. >> bye, california correctional center! >> later we'll see where he is two months after release.
>> officer brucell, also known as red bull, works in south block. >> my job is third watch. south block rotunda officer. my main job is to control the flow of traffic during chow and also during the course of the inmates returning back to the units because of medical or dental appointments or mental health appointments they have. go back. get an escort. you've got to be escorted. you've got to be escorted this time of day. welcome to my world. i'm the eyes and ears of this south block rotunda. here, everybody is looking at me as the point man, hey, which way we got to go? that's it. that is the completion. we are done.
we are done. successful. well, here we go. i'm regrouping now. i rethink everything. i look, and i do the same program with another unit. dining hall one, this is yard five, let me know when you are done, chow house clear. make sure my officers are safe when we first start. make sure we have adequate coverage to get the inmates in, safe, seat them, bring them back. you'll see that. during the course -- now we got an alarm. control, we have an alarm, south block. >> officer brucell must secure all surrounding areas to ensure the other inmates and officers' safety until further information on the alarm is received. >> all inmates return to the cell to do a count immediately. have all staff go on the tiers conducting a count. submit the it to control immediately. right now we have an emergency. institutional recall. this is the first time in six years that i've been here that we have had an institutional emergency recall during chow. never had this happen. i don't know what's going on. until i know, i can only speculate. the only thing i can think of is
we have a missing inmate. that's probably the number one thing. >> institutional recall means all inmates are locked up at this time. there will be nobody out until we get a positive count. all tier officers report to your assigned tiers. >> why we letting people out when the count ain't clear? who let you out? take it back up. everybody, back in. take it in. take it in. i'm telling you to go back in. >> so what happens is a lot of the bed moves are done on second watch. when they are not verified, they don't happen. so what happens is they are still in the cell or they are in another cell and there's no accountability. so now we're going to get some accountability. >> we're in. >> listen to what i'm saying, smoke. truett ain't here. he's in 104, right? hill went down to "h" unit. yeah, they sent him back up today.
5 west 45, hernandez. i don't know where he is. so you got to lock everybody up, man. because this don't make sense. every unit does the same thing. and once that count is complete, all numbers are called in to the control center who tallies up all the numbers. now, our numbers have to match his, and once these numbers match per unit, that clears your unit. >> two in here. >> that's right. >> all right. >> hey, red. you've got your count? >> coming down right now. 98 on three. >> no, 98 on four and five. >> 98 on four and five. >> yes. >> go check with alpine, donner, carson as well. make sure all moves are made that were set in prior to this.
>> donner got canceled. >> everything has to be done before we can even -- >> hey, the longer we take doing this, the longer we take -- next on "lockup," the search for missing inmates hits the streets. >> it's a very, very serious deal. >> and the search for dee dee's file hits a wall. >> like a domino effect. it's just getting worse and worse and worse. man on p.a.: and remember to stop by the bake sale today. i know, it's a lot to take in. that's why i've conducted this comprehensive analysis, comparing my prices to my competitors', so you know you're getting a good deal, even if it's not with me! pretty rad, right? what is she talking about? i have no idea. [ bell rings ] i'll take everything. what?! man on p.a.: comparing rates since back in the day.
after a phone call from a local citizen about a possible escaped inmate, the c.o.s of san quentin have snapped into action. >> take your ass upstairs. >> inside the prison, all inmates have been locked up and the officers have done a prison-wide recount. prison officials have also been dispatched to canvass the area around san quentin. >> it's possible that the citizen saw what they saw, could have maybe been two teenagers or something that live on grounds, prison grounds that were hopping the fence and a citizen passing by thought it was worth calling us, probably better safe than sorry. we're going to follow all protocols and procedures and try to determine if there has been an escape and, if so, try to apprehend the escapees. >> lieutenant massic is a public information officer observing the teams sent out to look for possible escapees. >> our number one priority in
the department of correction rehabilitation is public safety and to protect the community. and the way we do that is to keep commitments from superior court and parole violators and such in our custody and not to let any of them get out until it's time. so, it's a very, very serious deal. i've seen at least four units so far go out of the prison and do a triangle search. they check out spots like the bus depot, the strip malls, apartment complexes, the ferry terminal. we are following 26 right now. officer is doing a really good job. he's hitting everything. keep in mind, they don't know who they're looking for yet because we don't even know if we have an escape. first tier's good. second tier's off. >> i'll go check. go check 222. >> 24.
>> see, he gave me 170, and it was a guy that was supposed to be up there. it should be 171. i'm showing one guy in 5 west 45. he was down in "h" unit. >> we're coming back into the prison right now. we are going to follow up on this count and see if they have got everybody. let's hope we do. i really hope it was just a citizen trying to help us out and was wrong about what they saw. >> be advised. the emergency recall count is clear. emergency recall count is clear at 20:43. a grand total of 5,193. stand by for the clearance on the program. >> i guess everybody gets to go home. >> that's it. >> it's a wrap. >> well-meaning citizen, i guess. made a mistake. ♪
>> it's just like a hotel room downtown in frisco. maybe a little bit smaller, but pretty much the same. i was a little nervous the first time. after the second day, i got used to it, the hang of it. then it kind of went easy, you get to know people. it just flies by. two more cells, right here. i'm going to parole saturday and go back to my life outside. i might be back. i might not. i don't know. it all depends on, you know, paroling in california is a bitch. you know, never know. run into the police one time and you're going back. take it one day at a time.
you don't really plan. it just happens. >> black line. you just want to get your mug on tv? you rob some banks out there? some cold case history going on? no voice or nothing, huh? >> no comprende. >> yeah, you no comprende. you've got two weeks to go. don't worry about it. been out ten years. that's good. trust me, the bridge that you're living under out there, nobody goes there. you know that and i know that. that's why when you send your property over, just go the bridge on the left. >> a week has passed and dee dee's file has still not arrived from sacramento, pushing the housing committee meeting yet another week. >> i know i'm locked up and i can't change that issue, but being double locked up, being locked up again in ad seg makes it even worse. but there's nothing i can do about that either, so i just sit here and wait until these people let me out of here. my worst fear is that this issue
could drag on and on until they actually do get my file. because there's no telling how long it's going to take for sacramento to actually send my original file here. i'm becoming irritated because it's like a domino effect. it's just getting worse and worse and worse and nothing is being done to correct the problem. and the problem is so minor and it's so simple that, i mean, i could simply get a correctional officer to come and say oh, yeah. i walked him to r & r the day he paroled. i know he paroled from my unit. but they won't go by that. coming up on "lockup" -- scanvinski hymes is on the streets. >> people don't realize i'm really more mellow out here. there you go. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> you're welcome, honey. out ofe morning because my back hurt so bad. the sleep number bed conforms to you. i wake up in the morning with no back pain. i can adjust it if i need to...if my back's a little more sore. and by the time i get up in the morning,
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with the arrival of paperwork clearing dee dee of her violent inmate status, she is allowed to join general population after weeks of confinement in ad seg. >> i'm back to normal now. >> as part of her daily routine, dee dee waits for a cocktail of hormones and antidepressants. >> thank you. anything else in your pocket? i really don't want to reach in your pocket. >> you want to look? >> did you put anything in there? come on, dude. thank you. get out of here.
>> getting in trouble. >> 75% of the parolees that i have sent out, i see them come back. just over a course of time, like i said, the numbers are pretty high. west block, 50. yeah, what's up, man? how many have you got? these are six guys that are paroling tonight. going home for hopefully for the rest of their term. so what we'll do now is we will alert these guys, tell them to pack their bags, get ready, we'll pick them up, we will take them down to r & r, get them on a van and get them out of here. >> all right, gentlemen, listen up. following individuals, thomas, 2 west 33. alexander, 2 west -- >> yeah! >> 2 west 8. torres, 3 west 67. >> i heard them call my name. torres for release 367. >> going to go back home. >> pack it up, you're leaving. >> homey. >> that's just total excitement, let me out of here, please! >> yeah! >> so then you give these guys about 10 minutes, 15 minutes,
we'll bring them down. >> hey you, buddy. >> i'm going to catch up with you. >> what are you going to do, man, when you get out there? >> get me a steady job pretty much. >> there you go. just stay out there. you can get one. i don't want to see you back man. >> no, of course not. >> everybody has a chance. like i said, it's just up to him. what's he ready to do? if he's ready to succeed, he will. if not, he won't. it's a 50/50 shot. some make it. some don't. the ones that don't make it, they come right back. the ones that do, that's good. they'll be all right. they'll make it eventually.
they'll get tired of doing this, get too old. he even said himself, yeah, i'm tired of coming to prison. okay. we'll see. >> want to climb up? you want to climb up? i didn't think so. we are in vallejo city park. it's nice, sunny day, just taking my goddaughter and her sister to the park and watch them play. much better than me sitting in prison. know what i mean? can't even compare it. >> after spending 19 of his 37 years behind bars, due mostly to violent crimes inside prison walls, scanvinski hymes is finally a free man. >> i really appreciate the ability to just walk out the door and walk down the street to the store. the little things that i do out here mean so much to me. you can't do it in prison.
i gotcha! you want to go back home? you want to go back home? i'm more of a mellow type out here. people don't realize i'm more mellow out here, you know, than the things i was doing in there, so -- >> once considered one of california's most problematic inmates, scanvinski has found that the simplest things in life can be the most enjoyable. >> take her on that one. this beat anything, you know? this is what life is about, enjoying being around the kids, you know, watching them grow up. that's what i'm trying to see. you know? this is my youngest goddaughter right here. i'm trying to watch her grow up. to me, prison is a breeding ground for more criminal activity. you know? i mean, it's not a place you go to, as far as what i've seen, to be really rehabilitated. i think the thing with rehabilitation, you have to rehabilitate yourself. let's go get ice cream. come on. you want ice cream? let's go get ice cream. pretty soon i'll probably start a family or something, i don't know. me and my girl. that's another story. you know, i'm 37. i'm still young enough to start a family. i want to be with someone i can be there for them.
i want to do it right, be established financially and then have kids. not depend on the state to take care of them. can't nobody take care of your own like you. there you go. >> say thank you. >> thank you. >> you're welcome, honey. >> as a man out here, i'm going to protect my family, you know, and i'm going to protect myself. other than that, i don't see myself going back to prison. there's nothing involved in protecting me or mine, i'm not going back to prison. >> 80% of the inmates we have in california are eventually going back out to the community. and of that, when you look at a recidivism rate approaching plus or minus 70%, that means 70% of the ones going back out are coming back in.
there are 2 million people there are 2 million people behind bars in america. we open the gates. "lockup." >> i'm not disappointed in anything i've done. i've made the decisions that i've made. you have to be a strong-minded individual. >> i have seen staff assaulted. i have seen staff die. >> i have lost over a pint and a half of blood. and the doctor says i don't know how much more you could have taken. >> i wish i could touch and hug them but i